People are still talking about your excellent program. In talking about the program, they use the words: fantastic, excellent, inspirational, awesome, beautiful music and voices. We have definitely heard people say, "We would love to hear them again"! Many have said, "I wished I could have been there but couldn't because of the funeral". The good news to us was that the (South Dakota) Humanities Council said we could have you back if you wished to do so and we could work out an agreeable time and date... Our entire committee was ecstatic over the beautiful program and the positive response by people in attendance. Thank you!!! Thank you!!! for placing Pollock on your schedule.
People really appreciated your empathy in the special song you did for the community. People also said, "I couldn't believe they sang for an hour. It seemed like 5 minutes. I could have listened to them for many more hours".
Needless to say, Allen and Jill you made the day unforgettable for for those in attendance. For me your music lives on as I often play the (CDs) I purchased. Thanks again for everything. Sincerely,
Delores Kluckman, Visitor Center Chair, Pollock, SD
Country Music News International Magazine Review of "Allen and Jill Cowboy Classics" CD. Review by Bob Everhart, President National Traditional Country Music Association
“ALLEN & JILL "Cowboy Classics" CD Review "I've listened to cowboy music lots and lots of time. Even recorded my own version for the Smithsonian Institution entitled "How Western Music Won The West." I have to say, Allen & Jill Kirkham have included the most important 'cowboy' songs on this CD that were ever written. They even added three originals "A Cowboy Psalm" "Real Cowboy?" and "Ghost Town" all of which are worthy to be in the company of some of the most famous western songs ever written, they belong here. What a beautiful way to introduce the listener to a 'new' western song. It's the famous classics that they do really well, that also takes us back in time. Allen has a justifiably beautiful male voice exactly suited to 'cowboy' music. Jill has that same quality, but she uses it in a very nice harmonious addition to Allen's fine singing. One of my favorite songs is "Man Walks Among Us" and I believe if you could spend a little time in the Sonoras Desert or the Saguaro National Park (which my wife Sheila and I have done many many times) you could make a direct connect to the songs and music you will hear on this lovely CD. I really like the fiddle of Katie Lautenschlager which fits the way this very interesting project was created. Ron Burtz does the same thing with the harmonica. Add the fiddle of Joe Stephenson on "Ghost Riders In The Sky" and you can begin to see what I'm talking about. How much more western can it get? Well, it can't, this is it. This is the 'real' deal, and it is so important to those of us who find redeeming quality in keeping the historical musical genres alive today, especially with the lack of opportunity for these very same artists. The Kirkhams recorded and produced this at the Lightning Creek Studio in Custer, South Dakota. I liked the mix, though I thought the harmonica was just a big too loud, but only in some spots. There's simply not anything negative about this wonderful western experience. We live in a world that is very lacking in a down-home honest sincere approach to making music. This is the way it was when it became not only 'real' but also when it became popular. It still is, that's why we have Allen & Jill. Off this one goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission, much luck to Allen and Jill."”
Country Music News International Magazine Review of "Sunrise On The Prairie". Review by Bob Everhart, President National Traditional Country Music Association
“CD REVIEW: ALLEN & JILL KIRKHAM - SUNRISE ON THE PRAIRIE Country Music News International Magazine And Radio Show 7:07 AM CD Reviews ALLEN & JILL KIRKHAM Sunrise On The Prairie Sunrise On The Prairie - Whoopie Ti Yi Yo - God's Country Waltz - I Ride Old Paint - Muckin' Out Stalls - Red River Valley - Love Burst - Home on The Range - Buffalo Gals - Spanish Is The Loving Tongue - Uncle Bob - All The Pretty Little Horses Anyone who likes 'cowboy' music, or perhaps 'western' music, it's always a pleasure to hear someone who does it well, doing it like it might have sounded around a campfire. That's the listening experience of this lovely married couple who have taken 'western' music into their hearts and minds, and put it on the stage, on the record player, on the minds of all who listen, and at a campfire. I want to point out early on here that Allen Kirkham has spent 34 years in military service to America. Partly Air Force and partly Army. His wife Jill is a professional artist and retired school teacher. Between the two, there has to be many many experiences that would surely make a good 'cowboy' song. They both have excellent musical instrument abilities on this CD, Allen on guitar and mandolin, Jill on lead guitar, bass, and harmonica. I especially enjoyed the addition of Joe Stephenson's fiddle on the opening song "Sunshine On The Prairie," one of Allen's originals. Jimmy Lee Robbins on guitar and Lee Patterson on accordion for this great original song too. Most excellent. Also the addition of Juan Eduardo DeHoyos on lead guitar, and Katie Lautenschlager on fiddle on some of the other songs. I got 'hooked' on western music and western swing a long time ago. I use my association with the Smithsonian Institution to research old music, and it helps a lot, especially on songs like "Red River Valley" which Allen has a super lead vocal version. Lots of folks think that 'Red River' is somewhere in southwest America, but it's not, it's the river that flows between the Dakotas and Minnesota, written by someone from South Dakota. The first record of it being performed is from a dated newspaper article relating to a singer who sang that song in an old bar along the Nebraska-South Dakota border. So it actually has a lot of 'connect' to the upper Midwest. This whole album by the Kirkhams is a joy to listen to, especially "Red River Valley" with a nice old-timey harmonica in it, and a great fiddle. I also like "Buffalo Gals" which is definitely known as a 'cowboy' song today, but it wasn't in the beginning. "Buffalo" in Buffalo Gals is the name of the town in New York where this song came from. When is was sang way back then, they also added other towns to the song, like Albany and Elmira. Today it's exactly where it needs to be. Sung around the camp-fire, just like it used to be. Marshmallows and hot dogs on the sticks getting cooked. That's the image I get when I hear these two dear people singing their 'cowboy' songs. Off to the Rural Roots Music Commission goes to see what they think. I have a pretty good idea, most of them have youngun's that like hot dogs and marshmallows. www.music-savers.com RECORD REVIEW BY: Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International”